Police: Man stole truck, hit child waiting inside vehicle

Updated Dec 24, 2017

A man was arrested on Saturday after he stole a truck and allegedly hit a young child that he forced out of the vehicle, police said.

Freddie Jermar Wrather, 20, was arrested after police located the truck by tracking a cell phone that was left inside by the owner, according to an arrest affidavit.

The vehicle’s owner told police she had driven to the Domino’s on Berkman Drive in North Austin on Friday afternoon and left the vehicle running with her two sons inside while she went in to grab a pizza, the affidavit said. While in the store, she noticed someone in the truck backing up. She went outside and banged on the hood of the vehicle saying her kids, ages 3 and 5, were inside, the affidavit said.

As the truck sped away, she noticed her boys were in the parking lot and the oldest one had thrown up several times, the affidavit said. Her son said the man had screamed at both him and his brother to get out of the vehicle and when he refused, he grabbed him “by the arms and hit him in his right rib cage,” the affidavit said.

When police arrived, the woman told officers she had left her cell phone in the truck, which they tracked to a nearby Super 8 Motel, according to the affidavit. Wrather attempted to drive away but crashed into an Austin police car and was arrested, the affidavit said.

Wrather denied hitting the children and said he had stolen the vehicle to keep warm, authorities said.

Wrather has been charged with robbery by assault and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He is being held at the Travis County Jail on $90,000 bail.